A September song in, uh, September
I’m old. I used to be getting old, now I’m just plain old old. Take a gander at that mugshot nearby for the proof. Thanks a lot, Lee, could you make me look any, uh, older? It was bad enough having that healthy, distinguished-looking DG Martin on the same page, but now I’ve got that neo-Nazi hottie Ann Coulter to provide contrast. Hey Brian, why not see if Tom Cruise will do a Scientology column for you and put him beside me too, just to accentuate the difference between pretty is and pretty was.
And if that head looks old ‘— the hair that’s falling out and graying at about the same pace, the Nixonian jowels that, unlike the former president’s, don’t make me look like a crook, the near-sighted squint that my John Lennon specs can’t hide, the forehead that stretches to infinity, the gray mustache that makes me look older than the lead singer for the Oak Ridge Boys ‘— be thankful you can’t see the rest of this decrepit body. When my waist got to 38 and my neck to 17 1/2, I made a serious decision to do something about it ‘— I quit buying pants and shirts. By golly, that fixed it!
Okay, I actually do a little better than that. I’ve gotten in the habit of always scanning the grocery aisles for low fat foods: low fat doughnuts, low fat Nabs, low fat Slim Jims, low fat pizza’….
Plus, I’ve begun an intense exercise regimen since moving my office adjacent to the Dusty Dunn Ballroom, high atop Ritchy Towers. Each morning I walk all the way up those 22 steps and each afternoon walk all the way back down again. Hey, it’s a jungle here in Hamburger Square.
The reason I bring this up now, other than the fact that it’s deadline and I’m completely devoid of any real column ideas ‘— another sign of dotage ‘— is that everywhere I turn, it seems, I am reminded of what a fossilized relic I’ve become. I haven’t reached any milestones, no birthday coming up, just continual jolts to the psyche that I’ll be put out to pasture before long ‘— which is far different than being put out to stud.
This latest round of bouts with mortality came a few weeks ago (I can’t narrow it down any further than that) when the YES! Weekly staff got together for a skull session that resulted in the excellent ‘“75 things college students need to know’” cover. I suspect Brian included me in the brainstorming out of pity so I wouldn’t feel ostracized, but it backfired. Sitting in a room full of bright, hip twentysomethings made me feel about as irrelevant as a typewriter repairman at a geek convention. I might as well have been wearing a coonskin coat and singing ‘“boola, boola.’” My suggestions went something like this: When going on panty raids make sure not to wake the housemother. Never try to French kiss on a first date. Learn all the words to the school fight song to impress the upperclassmen.
As you may have noticed, none of my ideas made the cut.
Oh, Brian did mention in the story that I invented streaking, which is true, but the thought of getting nekkid in public now, with this sagging, flabby body, makes me feel like arresting my own bad self. Running nekkid at 21 is poetry in motion; doing it at 57 is a crime against nature.
Then last week, after I’d written the column about Woodstock and titled it, ‘“Here’s to you, Wavy Gravy, wherever you are,’” it occurred to me that the majority of folks who happened upon that page would have no idea who the hell Wavy Gravy is. Even more depressing, most of them would know who Ann Coulter is.
Lately I’ve picked up a freelance gig with a new magazine coming to town, which is good news. But the bad news is that several of the stories I’ve been assigned require me to interview plastic surgeons. On the surface, nothing wrong with that, it’s actually quite fascinating. But I am convinced that while I’m doing the interviews, these guys are looking me over and seeing potential business. My natural paranoia tells me they’re looking at my spare tire and thinking ‘“lipo,’” looking at my jowels and thinking ‘“facelift,’” looking at my receding hairline and thinking ‘“transplant.’”
I may, in fact, buy into the logic that you’ll feel younger if you look younger. Generally my stance is that, yes, I know I’m old, but I make up for it by being astoundingly immature. But how much longer I can get away with that mindset, I’m not sure. At some point it’s bound to start wearing thin on the people around me. But, hopefully, not today.
Now go ahead and pull my finger.
Ogi can be reached at ogi@yesweekly and heard each Tuesday from 9:35’–10 a.m. on WGOS 1070 AM.